April 2, 2014|
From: David Patriquin
6165 Murray Place,
Halifax, Nova Scotia,
To: Mayor Mike Savage and Councilor Waye Mason,
Halifax Regional Council.
cc: Councilors Barry Dalrymple, David Hendsbee, Bill Karsten, Lorelei Nicoll, Gloria
McCluskey, Darren Fisher, Jennifer Watts, Linda Mosher, Russell Walker, Stephen
Adams, Reg Rankin, Matt Whitman, Brad Johns, Steve Craig, Tim Outhit
Re: HRM Pesticide By-law
Dear Mayor Savage, Councilor Mason:
I am writing concerning the proposal to rescind the HRM Pesticide By-law on the
assumption that it is redundant now that similar Provincial legislation is in place.
The key word is "similar". HRM took the lead in this process both within Nova Scotia
and nationally and many others have emulated the HRM By-law, including the province.
However, the HRM Pesticide By-law is more stringent in several respects and thus the
decision is really one of "do we want to weaken the present provisions within HRM?"
My understanding is that if the HRM scraps the Pesticide Bylaw we will lose:
I assume that one component of the rationale for rescinding the By-Law is that toxic
pesticides are no longer in use routinely. I do have some issues with that assumption, e.g.,
related to toxicity of pyrethrins and chelated iron products to wildlife, as well as
sensitivity of a portion of the population to pyrethrins.
- Mandatory buffer zones around schools, daycares, hospitals, clinics, churches, senior citizens' residences, universities and churches.
- Pre-signage before more dangerous pesticides are used making our ability to avoid
involuntary pesticide exposure.
- Pre-notification when more toxic pesticide products are used.
However, my immediate concern and the major concern people with compromised
immune systems and pregnant women and parents of young children express is that when
exceptions are made allowing use of the more toxic materials, the protection cited in the
three points above does not occur. Indeed, I think it may not have been occurring recently
- I note that old links to "HRM's Pesticide By-Law & Sustainable Gardening &
Landscape Maintenance" now refer the user to the Government of Nova Scotia website.
Halifax (HRM) has developed a reputation as a smart city and a leader in environmental
protection, notably in relation to our recycling program and in developing restrictions on
cosmetic pesticides and promoting positive alternatives. It is a city that is attractive to
young people, many or most of whom want to live in the core areas, which we are trying
to encourage. Why would we take steps to consciously reduce that appeal?
I simply urge you to retain the By-law as it stands at this juncture. I suggest that it would
be appropriate to review the By-law, with public input and discussion, over the ensuing
year to determine how it can be more effectively used.
Professor of Biology (retired)
Control of Chinch Bug without Pesticides